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I'm using a typical word processor to write a book that I would like to later typeset with LaTeX. I've done some searching and there doesn't appear to be any easy way to do this. I've tried rtf2latex2e but that doesn't preserve italics and doesn't convert double quotes (") to the LaTeX `` and ''. I don't have any math formulas or fancy text that needs taking care of. It's just normal text, and the sporadic italics. I don't want to preserve the styling of the original document, I only want the text to be formatted so that it can be easily \included in a LaTeX file.

Is there any way I can continue to write in a word processor and convert to .tex later?

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You should elaborate on why you need a word processor and TeX. Why can't you use the word processor alone? Why can't you use TeX alone? (Or try LyX.) – Andrey Vihrov Feb 4 '12 at 14:47
This seemed as a duplicate of How can I convert from Microsoft Word to a LaTeX document, but if you take the minimal formatting which needs to be converted into account it is specific enough to stay as a separate question. – Martin Scharrer Feb 4 '12 at 15:11
In this case you could simply use File > Save As > Text Only (or similar) in Word to get only the text. You can then use search&replace to convert the quotes (" with leading space to `` and with trailing space to ''). The italics are a problem however. I needed to add them again manually last time I did something like this. – Martin Scharrer Feb 4 '12 at 15:13
I’ve used rtf2latex2e with success, and it preserved the font formatting. The quotes where replaced here automatically, too. It seems to me, that you have forgotten to add the commandline options, that are needed for that (see the manual). – Speravir Feb 4 '12 at 16:19
As the author of rtf2latex2e, I would like to point out that double quotes (") not curly double quotes don't get converted to () or ('') because this conversion is influenced by the surrounding text. The parser in `rtf2latex2e` is simple and this is beyond its capabilities. However, if you use curly quotes in the original, the these are properly converted (“ --> ). – Scott Prahl Mar 25 '12 at 6:52

There is an Extension for OpenOffice Writer called Writer2LaTeX, just for this purpose. A similar one is available for LibreOffice, also called Writer2LaTeX. :) Once you installed them, you will have the additional feature of exporting to LaTeX or BibTeX from the File -> Export... menu.

I don't know about any similar solution for Microsoft Word...

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